Review of 'The Cunning Little Vixen'

Glyndebourne Opera Company


“The Cunning Little Vixen” is an opera by LeoÅ¡ Janáček. A young vixen (fox) is taken from the wild by a forester who finds her a bit of a handful. The unhappy vixen chews through her ropes, attacks the forester's chickens and escapes. She takes over the den of a badger then later meets a charming boy fox with whom she has a number of children. A poacher is engaged to a gypsy woman, Terynka who is seeking out the vixen and lays a trap…A story of the cycle of life and death with the occasional political polemic.

An amazing production by the incredible Glyndebourne Opera Company - A large tree dominates the stage pieced together by large planks of wood that serves as a focal point for much of the staging. A path leading from the top of the back of the stage down to the front is used by several performers to enter into the scene ingeniously tied to a safety tether as they “walk” along the vertical path.

The performances here are all top notch, particularly Elena Tsallagova as the vixen whose enthusiasm and energy is clearly picked up by the audience - Her voice was incredible: Light, clear and filled with emotion. Here the performances are almost more about dance than they are about singing - Tsallagova conquers both with equal ease. What has to be said is that the supporting cast of woodland characters are amazingly adept at the complicated but fun choreography. The bright costumes are quite witty but also abstract, causing us to guess for quite some time before being sure what animal they are supposed to be.

The score is wonderful and light, reflecting the simplicity of the story perfectly.

At just over an hour and 45 minutes the production was just about as long as the “long interval” for which Gyndebourne is famous but the action is tight and the story light enough to be well served by the production. A lot of fun.

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2016-07-28

Glyndebourne Opera House

Location: Lewes (England)

Address: Lewes, East Sussex BN8 5UU ENGLAND

Public Transport: NRLOGO Lewes

Telephone: +44(0)1273 815000


Glyndebourne is an amazing English institution. A stately home it originally started by putting on small opera productions to the local community it now has a dedicated opera house attached to the house that draws the best opera performers in the world. The facilities are top notch with no expense spared which is reflected in the prices for tickets…when you can even get tickets as they often sell out in minutes when the public allocation is made available. A free shuttle to the site from the Lewes train station is on offer but there is also a large (free) car park on site. The grounds are open to people attending the performance with a number of large lawns on which you can picnic but also a number of formal gardens. Formal picnicing is traditional for Glyndebourne but there are also several formal restaurants on site. Also traditional is for attendees to dress in formal dinner wear.